Paul Pierce does not want to share his night with Isaiah Thomas when the Boston Celtics retire Pierce’s No. 34 jersey next month. Pierce said Thursday that he would prefer the Celtics not run their planned in-game tribute video for Thomas’ on-court return on February 11, the same night the Celtics will send Pierce’s jersey to the rafters following a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
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Bill Doyle: Pierce on his retirement ceremony: When Wyc Grousbeck called me and said do you want to do this in February, I was kind of overwhelmed by it
Adam Himmelsbach: For those asking why Pierce 34 retirement will be after Cavs game, Cs wanted length of ceremony to be on their terms, not pre or halftime.
Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca said that Paul Pierce’s No. 34 will be retired this upcoming season. “It’s going to be fantastic,” Pagliuca said. “For our era, the most recent era, he embodied the Celtics’ leadership, the Celtics’ brand and was the MVP of the championship team. So it’s going to be fantastic to see that happen.”
He showed up at his old haunt, the Boston Celtics practice facility in Waltham, Massachusetts, wearing a throwback Inglewood T-shirt and a pair of Brooklyn Nets basketball shorts. “Hey Danny, see this?” said Paul Pierce, tugging at the silver and black of the Nets. “This is where you sent me!”
So why the urgency to sign the one-day contract? Pierce said his East Coast jaunt will continue Tuesday morning as he drives to Bristol, Connecticut, to sign a deal with ESPN to begin his “second” career as a basketball analyst — and, he hopes, a broadcaster. “I’d like to do both,” Pierce said. “That’s why I signed the contract with Boston today. The minute I sign with ESPN, I’m officially retired.”
Boston Celtics: Couldn’t resist the parquet.
The Boston Celtics announced today that they have signed 10-time NBA All-Star and 19-year veteran Paul Pierce to a contract, enabling him to retire as a member of the organization with which he spent his first 15 NBA seasons. “We’re honored that Paul has chosen to retire as a Celtic. He is among the very best Celtics – a champion on and off the court,” said Celtics governor and managing partner Wyc Grousbeck. “We congratulate Paul on a Hall of Fame career, and look forward to seeing his number raised to the rafters of TD Garden.”
“It’s an honor to have this opportunity to once again call myself a Boston Celtic,” Pierce said. “The organization and city took me in and made me one of their own, and I couldn’t imagine ending my career any other way. I’m a Celtic for life.”
Boston Celtics: Paul Pierce will retire in green ☘️
Adam Himmelsbach: Paul Pierce officially cleared waivers today. Look for the Celtics to do the sign-and-retire-as-a-Celtic move after things settle down.
Shams Charania: The Los Angeles Clippers have waived Paul Pierce, league sources say.
Brian Windhorst: Paul Pierce & Clippers have agreed to extend the deadline on his contract to enable him to be traded before he retires, sources say. About $1M of Pierce’s $3.6M is guaranteed but he could be traded or aggregated into a larger deal. Gives Clippers another asset if they need to use it.
Add rapper Kendrick Lamar to the list of people who have sent messages of respect to Paul Pierce, whose 19-year NBA career came to an end a couple weeks ago when the Clippers were knocked out of the playoffs by the Jazz. The Clippers shared a heartfelt video that Lamar narrated on Thursday. It thanks Pierce for inspiring the city of Los Angeles as The Heart Part 4 instrumental plays in the background.
“It was going to be the last time that I hear the roar of the crowd,” Pierce told The Undefeated. “Well, maybe not the last time. There will be the 10-year anniversary [NBA championship] team [reunion]. As a player, it was awesome just being able to appreciate the crowd night in and night out. “The cheers. The boos. The player camaraderie. That’s the stuff I’m going to miss most.”
Pierce was at peace with retiring. “I allowed myself to be,” Pierce told The Undefeated. “You know it’s going to end one day. I just felt like this is the right time. My body and mind, having that still intact. My kids and family. In some capacity, I will be a part of the game. Maybe front office. TV. I still love this game, talking about it and being around it.”
If there was any doubt, Wyc Grousbeck confirmed Monday morning on Toucher & Rich that we’ll never see another Celtics player don the No. 34 jersey. That will forever belong to Paul Pierce, whose 19-year NBA career came to an end Sunday afternoon when the L.A. Clippers were eliminated from the playoffs. Pierce spent 15 great seasons with the Celtics, leading the team to their 17th NBA Championship in franchise history in 2008, earning NBA Finals MVP honors in Boston’s six-game series win over the L.A. Lakers.
“There have been conversations in general by people close to him,” said Grousbeck. “But we haven’t been allowed to talk directly to Paul while he’s been playing. He’s made it clear he’ll always feel like a Celtic and this is his basketball home. I think he wants to come back. We’re a little busy right now, thank goodness, and we’ll speak to him when the time is right. “I’d like to get Danny [Ainge] and Brad [Stevens’] input on it the this offseason, and see what Paul would like to do. But he’s a finals MVP, and the last player to wear No. 34 for us.”
Paul Pierce: THANKU TO ALL MY NBA BROTHERS AND SISTERS ASSOCIATED WITH THE GAME A GAME IVE LOVED MY WHOLE LIFE BUT NOW TEADY FOR A NEW CHAPTER STAY TUNED I’d like to thank the fans media members who followed me u made he who I am as a player the Poeple who loved and the people who hated me TY. I gave this game all a had my whole life I’m thankful for that also to my family who seen it all from the beginning thanku. To my my brothers Steve and Jamal Hosey u guys where my inspiration my Mom I looked at all ur hard work for us to keep food on the table. And ur hard work and determination my heart my work ethic I got that from u Thanku.
Paul Pierce: To all the coaches who helped me along this journey coach Jose smith coach Stevenson Pat Roy Roy Williams Mike Lewis Thad Mcgrew Heroldjones. I kno there’s so many other people I’m missing when u go on a journey this long sometimes u forget some people who helped but thanku. Doc coach Obrian Rick Patino. Julie Pierce Prianna , Jazzy j Prince thanku. Oh Yeah city of Inglewood Stand Up !!! How can I forget my City. Can’t leave my Boston fans out Thanku the ride was unreal 😍😍😍😍love y’all forever.
Steve Nash: Congrats to the Truth! Killed it
Diamond Stone: OG @Paul Pierce 💯 #RealOne #TheTruth
Madelyn Burke: Paul Pierce hugging his teammates, #TheTruth called career with a Game 7 loss
The Players Tribune: Farewell to The Truth.
Anthony Morrow: Congrats to the truth on a phenomenal career, one of my favorite players to Watch growing up, hell I still youtube him 😂💪🏾💪🏾@Paul Pierce
Once the game appeared in check for the Clippers, “Paul Pierce” chants burst sporadically in the stadium, as fans pined for one last look at Pierce playing his former club. Pierce has not played since Feb. 5 in Boston, where he started, kissed the Celtics logo at center court, played five minutes and hit a picturesque three to end the game, which Doc Rivers described as “perfect.” As hard as the fans the fans tried, Rivers did not oblige, keeping Pierce on the bench. “I was trying to win,” Rivers said. “Paul understands. How many tributes do you get?”
Paul Pierce on life after basketball: “I’ve given it a little thought. I’ve thought about maybe still being involved in the game of basketball in some kind of way, whether it be upper management. I’m not sure about coaching yet, coaching is still a grind. When you’re coming off a 19-year grind you want to spend a little time with your family, so I’m not so sure about that. I’ve thought about doing some broadcast stuff, I’ve done that in the past. As you know, I did the Finals last year. There’s some things in the back of my mind that I’ll consider. I’m just enjoying this last year for right now then I’ll jump into that.”
Paul Pierce on whether he is at peace with his decision to retire: “Definitely. I’ve had a chance to talk to a few people who have been in professional sports, not only basketball but other sports, to talk about when they thought they were ready to retire, and it’s definitely put me at ease about my decision to move forward after this year.”
“Outside of Boston, (Toronto) is my favorite place to play,” Pierce told theScore in Air Canada Centre’s visiting locker room, still giggling. Though he later admitted to enjoying trolling Raptors fans and getting a laugh out of them over the last number of years, Pierce ensured this was no joking matter, as he shifted to a more serious tone for emphasis. “No, truthfully. These fans are very passionate about the sport. This is one of my favorite places, even though our relationship is the way it is.” “The way it is” has seen Pierce accumulate more boos in Toronto than perhaps any player not named Carter, McGrady, or Bosh.
“They still respect what I’ve done,” Pierce said of the boos and somewhat comedic battles he’s enjoyed with Raptors fans. “They’re knowledgeable fans. It’s just a respect thing with the fans here. When you get booed in a road arena, they recognize you – that’s respect. I understand what it is. A lot of players don’t get booed. That’s just the respect factor coming in. They don’t like the things you’ve done (to their team), but they respect you.”
Kevin Garnett: These magical moments doe”🔥🤘🍀💯😂… PURE MAGIC… THX U “TROOOF”.. @PAULPIERCE ENJOY THAT ISHH…. DESERVE EVERY BIT OF IT… LOVE BRO👊💯
Zaza Pachulia: Respect Paul Pierce #TheTruth #34
Marc D’Amico: “You spend 15 years in one place, it’s hard to let it go,” Paul Pierce says. pic.twitter.com/M3zrIP5Bqh
Chris Forsberg: “Truth! Truth! Truth!” pic.twitter.com/jZ5UBSHNJT
Chris Forsberg: Paul Pierce: “I don’t know what kind of emotion is going to come out, whether it’s a smile or a tear or what.” pic.twitter.com/r1q8F8sZrZ
Scott Souza: “I can’t even picture how it’s going to be … I know it’s going to be emotional.” — Paul Pierce #Celtics twitter.com/sherrodbcsn/st…
A. Sherrod Blakely: Paul Pierce said he would “definitely” consider a job with the @Celtics after he’s done playing. #Celticstalk
What will it be like for you to play your final game in Boston? Paul Pierce: It’s going to be emotional, just knowing this is the last time I’m going to be in the Garden as a player. So just stepping on the court and thinking about all the fans that kind of grew with me, all the people I had a chance to establish relationships with over the years. It’s going to be fun, but emotional.
Alex Kennedy: Paul Pierce will do videos, articles and podcasts for @PlayersTribune to document the final months of his NBA career, the site announced.
Ohm Youngmisuk: Paul Pierce is making his final appearance in Brooklyn tonight. Despite spending a brief but eventful season here, Pierce said it’s special being back for the final time. “Obviously I got some history here,” Pierce said before the Clippers played the Nets. “But every arena that I walk into for the last time on this East Coast trip brings back memories.”
Chris Forsberg: Paul Pierce to @Sirius XM NBA on plan to sign one-day deal with Celtics before retiring next summer: “I would love to do that. I think I’ll always be remembered as a Celtic. I had all my glory days, all my prime was pretty much as a Boston Celtic. I think I owe the fans and I owe myself that much, just to be able to put that uniform on one more time and go out that way, say I retired a Boston Celtic”.
Pierce, who plans to retire at the end of the season, said he didn’t think he would have a “farewell tour” around the league this season. He did say, with a laugh, he would accept going-away gifts from any team that wants to offer.
Paul Pierce: This is it, my final season. It’s time to move on from the game of basketball. Just like any difficult decision, I think you’ve got to be at peace with yourself. I’m at peace with retiring, but I’ve got one more ride left. One more season. One more opportunity.
Paul Pierce: With the Clippers, in the city where I grew up, I feel like I have that opportunity on a great team. We’re hungry. We want to win a championship. After 18 NBA years, it’s hard to believe I’ll be playing in each arena for the last time. So I’m going to enjoy every practice, every bus ride, every team dinner, every time running out through the tunnel. I’m going to do my part to give us a shot at the ultimate goal.
Jake Fischer: Paul Pierce told me in July former Wizards teammate Marcin Gortat watched him play as a kid. 19 years will be quite the run for Pierce.
Arash Markazi: It looks like Paul Pierce is coming back this season. Unless Pierce plans on retiring with Brice Johnson by his side at Clippers Media Day. pic.twitter.com/v5uws6XMNP
Rivers said that when Pierce does decide to hang ’em up, he and the Celtics brass have already talked about letting “The Truth” return home to where it all began and retire as a Celtic on a one-day contract. “I think it’s important,” Rivers told reporters. “I think we have to do that. And I think we will. Danny [Ainge] and Mike [Zarren], we’ve already talked. The day he retires he’s going to retire a Celtic. He has to. Paul’s a Celtic. So when he retires he’s got to retire as a Celtic. I don’t think anyone disagrees with me.”
Chris Forsberg: Doc Rivers on whether he thinks Paul Pierce will retire: “Depends on the day I talk to him. Paul has had the summer, he’s gone back and forth. I think he has a right to do that. I really do. And so, you know, Paul didn’t have the best year last year. I don’t think he wants to go out that way, so I think that’s why he’s working to try to come back. But he still may change his mind next week. So we just have to wait. I told him if I see him at training camp, I’m assuming he’s playing.”
Gary Washburn: More Doc on Pierce: “If I don’t think (aging players) can play, I tell them that. I think Paul can play. I don’t know how much he’ll play.”
Pierce, an 18-season veteran in the NBA, is planning to return to the Los Angeles Clippers for his 19th season in the league according to multiple league sources.
The Clippers continue to wait on Pierce, who is considering retirement, to make a decision about his future.
The Clippers continue to wait on Pierce, who is considering retirement, to make a decision about his future. If Pierce were to remain with the team, a player would have to be waived.
Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers said his team has plans in place to allow Paul Pierce to retire as a member of the Boston Celtics if Pierce elects to end his playing days this summer. During an appearance on The Vertical podcast, Rivers said he believes Pierce hasn’t made up his mind about his future. “If Paul decides to retire, then we’re going to make sure that Boston picks him up for one day and he retires a Celtic, because that’s what he should retire as,” Rivers said during the podcast released Thursday. “So we have all that in place. We just don’t know what he’s going to do.”
Doc Rivers plans to let Paul Pierce retire as a member of the Boston Celtics if the star decides to end his distinguished career this summer. “If Paul decides to retire then we’re going to make sure that Boston picks him up for one day and he retires a Celtic because that’s what he should retire as,” Rivers said during an episode of The Vertical podcast with Adrian Wojnarowski, which was released early Thursday. “So we have all that in place. We just don’t know what he’s going to do.”
“I think Paul’s going back and forth on it, and I want to give him room. I think he deserves it. From a team perspective you would love that he made his decision eight weeks ago. I think there are certain guys that you just have to give time to, and Paul’s one of them,” Rivers said on the podcast.
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